Fransesco Polazzo – ESR8 – IMDEA agua

Impacts of global change on the vulnerability of aquatic ecosystems to chemical stress (WP5)

Francesco obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Biological science and technology from the University of Trieste, Italy, in 2015. Then he continued with a Master degree in Global Change Ecology at the same University. His master’s research aimed to study the alpine lake ecosystems as a natural database of human impacts (e.g. introduction of alien species, local and distant source of pollutants, impact of pasture activity on water quality and quantification of heavy metals in fish) on these remote environments.

Moreover, he participated in a scientific internship at the University of Innsbruck. During this internship he developed a strong background in water chemistry, nutrients analysis and aquatic ecology in general.

In March 2018 he moved to IMDEA Water, where he is a PhD student in aquatic ecotoxicology within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks project ECORISK2050.

His project is focuses on the impacts of global change on the vulnerability of aquatic ecosystems to chemical stress. Francesco is investigating how the vulnerability of aquatic communities is affected by alterations in their structural and functional composition and by climate-related stressors (e.g. raise of temperatures, hydrological variation). His research is grounded on a combination of experimental research and modelling. Experiments will be carried out using micro- and mesocosms with invertebrates and primary producers under Mediterranean conditions. The modelling work will be based on the combination of hydrological and climatological models, species vulnerability models (based on toxicity data, phylogeny trees and species traits) and GIS to generate risk scenarios and maps.

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